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Motions for debate 2008

April 7, 2008
Posted by mmarvs in : Debates, General
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The section Motions for Debate was created in 2007 and was developed by my students in Fifth year. It was a fantastic experience for me as a teacher, because I really had a great time reading the task I had asked to do, which, I must confess, it’s not always the case. Students felt motivated to write for new readers: no more writing for just the teacher, judging your mistakes and giving you a mark. They could also interact with each other, reacting to what others had to say. I didn’t take part in the debates, just once to congratulate my students for the effort and the good job and I didn’t correct the mistakes students might have made.

And now it is time to start a new block of debates. There is a new page with its own tab, called Motions for Debate 2008 and in the column on the right of the page you will find the proposals made by students. Choose the ones you feel more strongly about and write your comments!

You have to choose a nickname and e-mail it to me. I’ll be the only one who knows your identities. This is a new feature suggested by a student from last year, Heliodoro. He said that it would have been better fun to write without knowing who you were debating with until the very end, so that’s what we’re going to do this time. Needless to say that no offensive comments will be published.

If you don’t know what to think at first, you may take a stand after reading what other students had to say.

Good debates, then!


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1. Sebastian Coe - 6 May 2008 

A new debate.

Ransoms ¿To pay or not to pay?

For the majority of Spanish people, piracy is related to Caribbean sea and the sixteen and seventeenth centuries although nowadays Indian and Pacific oceans are the places where piracy is more common. Piracy in the waters of Asia has been a problem for a number of years and South and East Asia recorded twice as many as the rest of the world put together with most of the activity in the Malacca and Singapore straits and off-shore Somalia.
A few days ago a Spanish tuna boat, the playa de Bakio was attacked four hundreds kilometres off the Somali coast and the ship was hijacked and its 26 crew on board kidnapped until a 1.2 million US Dollars ransom was paid.
The motion I want to propose for debate in about ransoms. I believe this is a very difficult question. In general terms families always want to pay the ransom but governments try to prevent it because there is concern that this could set a dangerous precedent and encourage the practice further.
In my opinion in this case the problem is less important because Somalia coast is far away from Spain, but ¿what about a ransom paid to a terrorist group or a criminal armed gang in our country? ¿are you in favour or against? ¿Should government act proactively to prevent families from paying ransoms?

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